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The pain of a father before his dead daughter: a photo that is symbolic of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria


Adem Altan, an AFP photographer, was taking pictures in front of a collapsed building in Kahramanmaras, when he suddenly saw the man sitting in the rubble.

Adem Altan, a photographer for 40 years, 15 of them working for AFP, was taking pictures in front of a collapsed building in Kahramanmaras, the epicenter of the devastating earthquake that shook Turkey and Syria,

when he suddenly saw the man sitting in the rubble.

As no rescue team had yet reached the Turkish city on Tuesday, a day after the earthquake that has already left some 20,000 dead in both countries, the inhabitants themselves were trying to clear the ruins to save their loved ones.

The man in the orange jacket stood motionless in the tumult,

impervious to the rain and cold.

Adem Altan then realized that the man, 60 meters from him, had a hand in his.

Mesut Hancer holds his daughter's hand under the rubble.

AFP photo

the pain of death

He began to shoot his camera to immortalize the scene:

the father holding the hand of his dead daughter without letting go

, among the rubble and devastation.

As Adem took the photos, the man followed him with his eyes.

"Take pictures of my daughter,"

she murmured in Adem's direction, her voice cracking and shaking.

For a moment she let go of her daughter's hand to show the photographer the place where her 15-year-old daughter lay.

Soon enough,

he took her hand again.

"I was very emotional at that moment. I had tears. I said to myself:

'My God, it's unbearable pain

,' "says the photographer.

Adem Altan, the AFP photographer.

Adem then asked her name and that of her daughter.

"My daughter, Irmak

," replied Mesut Hancer.


"He spoke with difficulty, in a very low voice.

It was difficult to ask him more questions

, since the people around him asked people to be silent so that they could hear the voices of the possible survivors trapped under the rubble," says the photographer.

At that moment, he immediately thought that the image summed up the pain of the earthquake victims.

She had no idea the impact it would have.

Posted on front pages by the world press,

the photo went viral on social media

, shared hundreds of thousands of times by distraught netizens.

Adem Altan has received thousands of messages from around the world with expressions of solidarity and emotion at the grief of this dejected father.

"I think it is a photo that will remain in the memory

. Many people have told me that they will never forget this image," he says.

Neither did he.

Source: AFP


look also

Earthquake in Turkey: the miraculous rescue of two little brothers who were buried in the rubble for 84 hours

Earthquake in Turkey and Syria, LIVE: there are already almost 20 thousand dead and more than 65 thousand injured

Source: clarin

All news articles on 2023-02-09

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